Wait! We Haven't Had Winter Yet!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Santa Rosa Plum in Full Bloom
Spring has Sprung. All about the yard. In the front. In the back. The signs are everywhere. This winter has seen some frost. We've seen some cold days. But we've seen very little in the way of rain.

Which makes me a bit nervous when I see signs like the one to your right. It's a pretty sign to be sure. If you dedicate your yard to all things vegetable and fruit gardening -- the yard can look a little gray and gloomy during those cold winter months.

But that all changes with the onset of a new season. Suddenly? That damp, dark and dreary landscape has exploded in a virtual kaleidoscope of colorful flowers and blooms. Not everything has busted out for the 2012 season just yet.

Flavortop, Fantasia and Arctic Jay Necartines
But it's clear that the starter's gun has gone off.

The nectarines and Santa Rosa plum have been the first to emerge from their long slumber. There are green buds and a single white flower on the Flavor Finale Pluot. The grapes (which I've yet to cut back and prepare) are even showing those familiar signs of green.

Guess what the next Back 40 project is?

Although I welcome the end of a dark and dreary winter season -- the onset of spring does bring some concerns. We received little in the way of actual rainfall this year. During normal years? It takes a good set of mud resistant boots to traverse much of the muddy landscape that is the Bird Back 40.

Daffodils Jumping Out of Planter Box
Not this year. Normal tennis shoes will gain access to every corner. This is a first. I've never seen it quite this dry before.

That is a concern -- because if you're going to garden -- water is an essential element. Yes -- you can install the most efficient of drip and sprinkler systems. Yes -- you can take measures to ensure that not a drop of this precious resource is wasted. But -- the bottom line is -- even the most efficient of watering systems puts a strain on a valuable resource we didn't get much of in the way of rain and snowfall this year.

So -- while I welcome spring and the colors that the season brings to our backyard of fruit and vegetables -- I keep a wary eye trained on the sky.

Is that all for this year?

Let's hope not. Spring is here.

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